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Government coalition in the lead – PiS but the strongest force

In the first test of sentiment for the pro-European government coalition in Poland since the parliamentary election, the new political balance of power was confirmed. According to forecasts, Prime Minister Tusk's alliance is ahead, but the PiS is probably the strongest force.

Martin Adam

Because of the electoral silence, he only wanted to remind people in a whisper that something had to be completed on Sunday, wrote Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Friday at X. What was meant was to finally defeat the PiS in the regional elections after the parliamentary elections in October.

However, it wasn't entirely successful, as PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński explained on election evening: “As Mark Twain once said, the news of my death has been greatly exaggerated.”

Tusk's hopes are not fulfilled

At least according to the post-election surveys, the PiS has once again become the strongest force with 33.7% of all votes cast nationwide, although it only received a majority in six out of 16 voivodeships, i.e. countries. In the last elections in 2018 there were nine. And since there are a total of 49,000 seats to be filled at local and state level, the sheer sum of votes won doesn't say much about who can ultimately form coalitions and actually govern.

But Tusk's hope for a crushing defeat for the PiS, that much is clear, has not been fulfilled. Instead, his long-term rival Kaczyński is once again looking far ahead: “This result shows that today we would perhaps do significantly better in the parliamentary elections, perhaps we could even come to power.” Above all, the PiS must now win the European elections and then prepare for the presidential elections. “And then come the general elections.”

Tusk still happy

Donald Tusk is still happy. His citizens' coalition gained significantly with 31.9% and became the strongest force in 10 of the 16 voivodeships. Your mayoral candidates in Warsaw and Gdansk won in the first round, others have a good chance of winning the runoff election on April 21st.

“I’m really very proud of all of us today, all Poles,” said Tusk. “October 15th repeated itself in April.”

coalition partner disappoint

Tusk interprets the result as confirmation of his government's course – even though the coalition partners from the New Left disappointed with only 6.8% and are still behind the right-wing extremist Konfederacja. And the Christian-conservative Third Way is also unlikely to be satisfied with its 13.5%.

The low voter turnout of just over 51% is also an announcement, said one of the party leaders, Parliament Speaker Szymon Hołownia: “You can't look at this other than as a warning. The first serious warning for our coalition. The people have had enough of the argument today said.”

The coalition is particularly noticeable because of its disputes

After initially showing demonstrative unity in the regional election campaign, but also on specific issues such as the liberalization of abortion rights, the government coalition recently attracted attention mainly due to arguments and resentment.

Former President Aleksander Kwaśniewski concludes that the election result is good for the government coalition. Now she at least knows that the PiS is still strong and that the coalition must therefore work together instead of arguing.

Martin Adam, ARD Warsaw, tagesschau, April 8, 2024 12:04 a.m

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